PROUT’S slogan is: “To end exploitation we demand economic democracy, not political democracy.”
The universal aim of economic democracy is to guarantee the minimum requirements of life to all members of society.
Nature has been kind enough to provide abundant natural resources to every region of this earth, but she has not given guidelines on how to distribute these resources among the members of society. This duty has been left to the discretion and intelligence of human beings.
Mundane resources are limited but human longings are limitless. Hence, for all the members of society to live in peace and prosperity, human beings have to adopt a system which ensures…rational distribution of all resources. To achieve this, human beings will have to establish themselves in morality and then create a congenial environment for morality to flourish.
Economic decentralization means production for consumption, not production for profit. Economic decentralization is not possible under capitalism, because capitalist production always tries to maximize profit. Capitalists invariably produce at the lowest costs and sell at the highest profits. They prefer centralized production, which leads to regional economic disparity and imbalances in the distribution to the population. In the decentralized economy of PROUT on the other hand, production is for consumption, and the minimum requirements of life will be guaranteed to all. All regions will get ample scope to develop their economic potentiality, so the problems of a floating population or overcrowding in urban centres will not be allowed to arise.
Unless a country attains optimum development in industry and other sectors of the economy, it is impossible for it to be highly developed…So, economic decentralization does not mean that the majority of the population will be dependent on agriculture for their livelihood or that the other sectors of the economy will remain undeveloped. Rather, each sector of the economy must strive for maximum development, and all sectors must strive for maximum decentralization.
People will have to opt for either political democracy or economic democracy. That is, they will have to choose a socio-economic system based on either a centralized economy or a decentralized economy. Which one will they select? Political democracy cannot fulfil the hopes and aspiration of people or provide the basis for constructing a strong and healthy human society. The only way to achieve this is to establish economic democracy.
The first requirement for economic democracy is that the minimum requirements of a particular age – including food, clothing, housing, education and medical treatment – must be guaranteed to all
The second requirement for economic democracy is that increasing purchasing capacity must be guaranteed to each and every individual. In economic democracy local people will hold economic power.
The third requirement for economic democracy is that the power to make all economic decisions must be placed in the hands of the local people. Economic liberation is the birthright of every individual.
The fourth requirement for economic democracy is that outsiders must be strictly prevented from interfering in the local economy.
Finally, it should be remembered that economic democracy is essential not only for the economic liberation of human beings, but for the universal well-being of all – including plants and animals. Economic democracy will devise ways and means to effect the smooth progress of society by recognizing the unique value of both humans and non-humans alike.